Motorola has taken a very strange tack with the Motoluxe. On the one hand it offers a mid-range beating 4in screen and 8MP camera, but on the other, it has a mere 800MHz single core processor. We saw last week with the HTC One V that this tactic of cutting back on core performance can have a major impact on desirability, but has Motorola got the balance right?
Watch our video review of the Motorola Motoluxe:
Hardware and Design
The Motoluxe has a quirky design. For the most part it's just another black slab with a big-ol screen on the front and a soft touch black finish on the back. But the little step in the section below the screen and the silver grill under the slide-off back panel set it apart. We rather like the look though we could easily see how some people would find it a bit fiddly looking.
Less subjective is how it feels to use. Its mid-size dimensions of 117.7 x 60.5 x 9.9 mm mean it sits nice and snug in the hand, unlike some of these much larger models. It's easy to reach the full expanse of the screen and all the phone's buttons, without having to shift your grip too much or use two hands. In fact, this is actually a slightly smaller phone than the excellent HTC One V, yet it houses a larger screen. It's also relatively slim and light, and the soft-touch is both grippy and comfortable to grip.
Probably the most obvious feature of this phone is that step at the bottom, which serves a couple of purposes; you can use it as a loop for a strap or lanyard and embedded within it is a light. This light glows red/yellow/green when the phone's charging and flashes blue/green/purple if the phone receives an email, text or voicemail. It's a nice addition in practical terms though we do wonder if it's a little oversized and bright – it's certainly not subtle. The same could be said of the Motorola logo alongside.
In something of a throwback, the front navigation buttons include a dedicated one for Search. Not only does Android 4.0 do away with the search button as standard but even many older Android handsets from other manufacturers had dropped this. It's somewhat by the by but we'd certainly not mourned the loss of this button and aren't particularly pleased to see it here. Otherwise the backlit touch-sensitive buttons are responsive and easy to use.
Round the rest of the handset we've got a headphone jack and power button on the top edge, volume rocker and dedicated camera button on the right, microUSB (MHL) port on the left, and the camera on the back. Under the battery cover you'll find the 1420mAh battery, SIM slot and microSD card reader. The phone comes with just 1GB of internal memory so a card is a must. Thankfully it supports ones up to 32GB
It's great to see a removable battery cover on the back, but it is a little bit too removable. On a couple of occasions we knocked the phone from a coffee table and sofa onto the carpet and the panel pinged off. Clearly one shouldn't drop a phone if you can help it but these things happen and it was a little irritating to have to reattach the back every time.